Chris Martins

writer

Biography

  • Free the Robots 'Carnival' Jessie Jones Stream Balance

    Free the Robots Visit a Dark 'Carnival' With Feeding People's Jessie Jones

    There's no better testament to the originality and fertility of the Los Angeles beat music scene than the fact that five years after the world began to take note, the music is as innovative as ever. Free the Robots, a.k.a. Santa Ana-based Chris Alfaro, could be dubbed the DJ Shadow of the Low End Theory community — a man whose voracious appetite for sound strains lands him someplace noir, where he taps a dark, psychedelic vein while boasting highly technical hip-hop production prowess.Free the Robots' forthcoming self-released album, The Balance, might be the man's freest creation yet, a swirling work of retro-futurist effects, proggy ideals, jagged jazz, and blissful glitch (to that end, our pal Jonwayne lends a hand on the song "2040").

  • Duck Sauce / Photo by Erik Voake

    HARD Summer 2013: Review and Photos from L.A's Sweaty EDM Rave-Up

  • Islands 'Becoming the Gunship' Stream Ski Mask

    Islands Consider 'Becoming the Gunship' on Pretty Song About Death

    When we first heard word of Islands' forthcoming fifth album Ski Mask, it seemed like mastermind Nick Thorburn was in a quitting mood. Early taste "Wave Forms" found the prolific musician singing, "I won't write another word after today." Thankfully, for the new LP's next share, he's in fighting form. "Becoming the Gunship" is a pleasantly propulsive song featuring march-step drums and drifty malt-shop guitars, not to mention Thorburn's increasingly smooth coo. That said, the words it employs are of a heavier fare, speaking on the hardened, if not weaponized, state of the heart following years of disappointment and rejection. The Unicorns founder spoke to SPIN."The first three lines in the song — 'When it was dark / I was a question mark / Becoming the gunship' — came to me in a dream," Thorburn said.

  • Ras G 'Back on the Planet' Album Stream Brainfeeder

    Ras G Arrives 'Back on the Planet' With an Album of Streaming Space Knowledge

    Ras G may be a born-and-raised Los Angeleno, but he's also a bona fide "Brotha From Anotha Planet," as an earlier album's title made clear. Of course, no one needs to spell it out for the listener. A deep dive into any section of the man's oeuvre will reveal truth aplenty: abstracted Jamaican dub, digitized African polyrhythms, Eno-esque forays into ambience, noise-addled rap beats, space-oriented free jazz and — when he's feeling generous — sampled wisdom from the god Sun Ra.In fact, the Arkestra bandleader is almost undoubtedly the biggest influence on Ras G's astounding productions, but in spirit mostly. The man born Gregory Shorter, Jr.

  • HARD Summer Death Festival Flying Lotus

    HARD Summer Patron Dies Following 'Cardiac Distress'

    Live Nation has confirmed that a HARD Summer festival-goer died on Saturday after attending the opening night of the Los Angeles electronic music festival. The promoter cited only "cardiac distress" and explained that the young man passed away at the hospital. After his headlining set on the HARD-er Stage, L.A.'s own Flying Lotus tweeted that he'd witnessed the unfortunate event.Damn. I saw a guy die before I played my set. Heavy.— FLYLO (@flyinglotus) August 4, 2013SPIN was there as well, waiting for Lotus' 10:25 set to begin when we heard sirens and saw flashing red lights heading in our direction. We followed the emergency vehicles to the scene, where police were making room as medics performed CPR on the man, who'd apparently been lying near the edge of the field.

  • Maya Jane Coles 'Burning Bright' Video Kim Ann Foxman

    Kim Ann Foxman Resurrects Dead Maya Jane Coles in 'Burning Bright' Video

    England's Maya Jane Coles released Comfort last month, and her debut album explores the out limits of house music with a deadly ear for atmosphere and melody. One of the clear standouts it "Burning Bright," which features a vocal turn from New York dance usurper Kim Ann Foxman. "We're a strong flame burning bright," she cooly sings on the hook, "It's our turn to light the night." The song seems light enough thematically, but it gets macabre new context in video above.As the clip begins, we see a hooded person approaching a decrepit church carrying a long-stem rose in one hand and a bag of something bloody in the other. Inside, the figure reveals herself to be Foxman as she approaches an alter nestling the lifeless body of Coles.

  • J Dilla 'Diamonds' Stream the Diary Ice EP

    J Dilla's Rhymes Shine Posthumously on 'Diamonds'

    Though J Dilla passed away in 2006, the revered rap producer and occasional MC only seems to catch more shine as the days roll on. Most recently, his beats have popped up on tracks by Disclosure and Jonwayne, while his influence looms large over young studio buffs like Toro y Moi. What's more, the label set up by the late James Yancy's estate has been steadily dropping lost gems of late, first with the unearthed club banger "Anthem," and then via that gangsterfied Gary Numan tribute, "Trucks." The reason for the season is a forthcoming album dubbed The Diary, due out later this year on PayJay, which collects a handful of Dilla vocal tracks that never saw the light of day. Next in the line of fresh leaks: "Diamonds (The Shining Pt. 1)," a Nottz-produced soul bubbler in which our hero has a little fun with the titular rock's "girl's best friend" designation.

  • Omar Souleyman Four Tet Wenu Wenu Stream

    Omar Souleyman, Four Tet Pine for Love on Dabke Throbber 'Wenu Wenu'

    At long last we can hear the first cut from Omar Souleyman's Four Tet-produced full-length studio debut, Wenu Wenu. We've been teased by amazing live footage and excellent in-mix placement, but above you'll find a full unfettered seven minutes of the album's titular song. When SPIN spoke to Souleyman in June, the Syrian dabke star told us that, "The lyrics are about love and relationships. All of the lyrics on the albums, and the ones I sing during parties, are all about love and affection between people. Here they don't understand that, but I believe its possible they can feel it."Well, just in case you can't, the folks at Ribbon Music have hadily provided an English translation of the lyrics in the provided clip.

  • Terrace Martin 'No Wrong, No Right' Robert Glasper Video James Fauntleroy

    Terrace Martin, James Fauntleroy, and Robert Glasper Team for Touching 'No Wrong, No Right'

    Being a musical genius comes in handy. If you're Terrace Martin, for instance, the fact that you've spent nearly two decades toiling behind the scenes — working for Quincy Jones for instance — means that when you sit down to record your own album, you'll be able to wrangle a nice feature or 12. On August 13, the Los Angeles artist will release 3ChordFold, a rap-jazz-soul hybrid that includes appearances from Kendrick Lamar, Ab-Soul, Snoop Dogg, Problem, Wiz Khalifa, Musiq  Soulchild, Lalah Hathaway, and 9th Wonder. Oh, and a little Grammy-winning jazz pianist named Robert Glasper (Mos Def's former musical director) and a fella named James Fauntleroy, who co-wrote literally every track on Justin Timberlake's The 20/20 Experience. Those last two appear on "No Wrong, No Right," a lushly produced song about the wages of love gone wrong.

  • Ghastly City Sleep Bent new song stream

    Ghastly City Sleep Are Beautifully 'Bent' on Haunting New Song

    Ghastly City Sleep weren't always making music so haunted and beautiful. In their former lives, the members of the Brooklyn quintet actually lived in Virginia and made names for themselves in the overlapping hardcore and emo scenes (with some clutch post-rock diversions). But from the ashes of beloved bands Gregor Samsa, City of Caterpillar, pg. 99, and Majority Rule came the formidable crew that now gently thrash before you."Bent" is the first taste of GCS' forthcoming second album, a thing three years in the making that promises to be a fascinating mix of wasteland rock, Krautrock freedom, dubwise reverberations, and deeply damaged soul. The song below goes through several metamorphoses (word to Gregor), growing in scope along the way.

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